Monday, September 15, 2014

iPhone Wallpaper: The Moon

I've got a HUGE library of great-looking photos that I've been turning into iPhone wallpaper images. Since I'm doing it for me, I figured I'd post them for YOU in case you wanted to use them, too. 

The top one is for iPhone 4S and the bottom is for iPhone 5 and up. You should be able to save it to your phone's camera roll, and from there, set it as wallpaper.

This edition features a waning moon.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Remembering 9/11, Thirteen Years Later

A few days before 9/11/01 we learned were were going to be parents. As we learned the news on 9/11 we wondered what kind of world we would be bringing our child into. This is a copy of Elizabeth's sonogram from fall 2001.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

How I Work

(this post may be updated from time to time with new info)

One of my favorite blogs, Lifehacker, has a great series called "How I Work." It's interesting to see how people get their jobs done.
They probably won't ask me to tell them how I work, but just in case the question comes up...

I'm Buzz Jackson, and this is how I work.

I'm the program director and afternoon air personality at KiiM-FM 99.5 in Tucson, the number one radio station in southern Arizona.

Location: Tucson, Arizona
Current Gig: afternoons & program director of KiiM-FM 99.5 (country music station) and program director of i97-5 (top-40 music station) in Tucson.
One word that best describes how you work: 24/7, it seems
Current mobile device: iPhone 5S and third generation iPad
Current computer: 21-inch Late 2012 iMac

What apps/software/tools can't you live without? Why?

  • Evernote - Their slogan is "remember everything." Evernote is like an external brain that I can call up from my iPhone, iPad, desktop, etc. I use it for daily show prep, writing, brainstorming, saving great ideas that I see other radio stations doing, travel confirmations, menus of places I've eaten at, gift ideas, stuff like that.
  • Google Calendar - I use Google Calendar to manage my schedule and the schedules of my airstaff and board-ops. I then make the calendar public and tell the staff where to find it, so they can see if from wherever they are. And it lets me look at a glance to see if there are any shifts that need to be filled. Also, Google sends me a digest each morning at 5am with that day's appointments which helps refresh my memory daily.
  • There's many more apps that I use on a daily basis for my afternoon drive show that I've chronicled here and here

What's your workspace set up like?

  • Standard desk at work with a computer, speakers, HD radio, etc. At home, pretty much the same thing, although I often work "mobile" using the iPad or iPhone in front of the TV - if something strikes me as something I want to remember, I'll save it to Evernote so I remember - or add it directly to the show sheet for whenever I plan to use it on the air.

What's your best timesaving shortcut/lifehack?

  • If This Then That lets you automate a lot of the internet - alerts, emails, etc. I then dump everything that's collected into Evernote where I can browse it when I'm ready to prep for the show.

What's your favorite to-do list manager?

  • I use Google Calendar to set reminders - because the reminders will pop up on my computer as well as my iPhone... so if my phone is muted or in my pocket or on a charger somewhere, I'll still get the reminder if I have Google Calendar open on my desktop.
  • I also use the iPhone app Checkmark because it is location-based. It can be set to remind me at a certain duration after arriving home or at work. It's $10 but I got it when it was free (I'm pretty sure) so if you wait, it might go on sale again.

Besides your phone and computer, what piece of technology can't you live without?

  • My fitbit. Keeps me motivated to keep moving. You see a lot of overweight middle aged radio DJs out there, and I'm trying not to become one of them!

What everyday thing are you better at than others?

  • I don't know if I'm better at anything, but I have learned to stay better-organized.

What are you currently reading?

  • I don't read a lot of fiction. I devour the newspaper (I know, right? I might be one of the few), and stay connected to what's happening via twitter, facebook and reddit

Monday, September 08, 2014

Saturday, September 06, 2014

Opinion: local TV versus distributers (caution: nerdy)

Nobody asked me, but here's my opinion on the too-often carriage contract disagreements between local TV stations and services that distribute TV over cable or satellite (right now KOLD-13's parent company is in a contract dispute with DirecTV resulting in customers being unable to watch KOLD's programming). This opinion doesn't apply to cable-only channels such as Discovery, Fox News, etc.

Local stations are licensed by the federal government and are available over the air for free. In some areas, because of terrain, mountains, distance, etc, a local station might not be available over the air to your location. Cable TV originally started as a way to get local channels to fringe areas. Over time, other cable TV channels came along such as Discovery, Food Network, CNN, etc).

Local TV stations make their money by selling advertising. In the last few years, however, they've been able to charge distributers such as Comcast, DirecTV and others for the right to carry their programming. This often amounts to very large amounts of revenue to the TV station, and an incentive to create these carriage disputes, often at the expense of service to their local area.

I'm all for content creators such as local TV stations being compensated for their programming. However, these programs are already available in their license area for free over the air. Because they are licensed to serve their communities, and potentially because it could  be a matter of public safety (weather, local emergencies, etc), customers who are eligible to receive a local station's programming because they live in that area should be able to get the programming for free, regardless of if it is over the air, via cable, or satellite.

When these disputes happen, the two companies often point fingers at each other - blaming the other for the unfair treatment or alleged increased costs of carrying the programming. They place their customers in the middle, with each one asking their customers to call the other company and lodge their complaints.

It's my opinion that distributers should be REQUIRED to carry all local TV stations in a service area that they want to do business in. Local TV stations should be PROHIBITED from gouging distributers like cable and satellite companies for retransmitting their programming.  Both distributors and local TV stations should be PROHIBITED from placing their customers in the middle.

In general I'm not a fan of federal regulation, but because neither side can be trusted to play well with the other (proven time and time again by Raycom vs. DirecTV, Time Warner Cable vs. Fox, and others), in the event that broadcasters and distributers can't come to an agreement, which results in the TV station pulling their programming from the distributer, the distributer should be allowed to substitute programming from an adjacent market. In the current example of KOLD-13 vs. DirecTV, DirecTV would be allowed to substitute programming from the local CBS station in Phoenix. This would continue to provide at least semi-local service to the community in lieu of the disputed station.

Broadcast radio and TV are, in many cases, essential to public safety. They are licensed to their service areas with the expectation of local public service. They should be available without interruption to customers who desire them.

I understand that it is costly to run a TV station. TV stations must be careful not to abuse this arrangement, or else they risk wind up facing government regulation in this area. Pulling their signal from the distributor is a disservice to their viewers and means they are reneging on their promise of service to their community - which should be grounds for license revocation. THAT should be the negotiating power on behalf of the citizens on the community the TV station serves.

If local TV stations want to become pay-TV stations, then they should be free to do so, if they agree to give up their broadcast license. It would then be assigned to someone who agrees to serve the community.

Putting the viewer in the middle of this dispute serves nobody.

Lastly, this dispute doesn't affect me because although I'm a DirecTV customer, I have east and west ABC, CBS and NBC and FOX, and am grandfathered in. So I'll be watching the NFL on either WCBS-New York or KCBS-Los Angeles tomorrow. Who wants to come over??

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Buzz is nominated for a CMA Award (this is not a repeat from 2007 or 2012)

Yes, it's happened again. Here's what it sounded like when Darius Rucker announced the nominees this morning in a press conference from New York City:

And here's the audio I submitted to be nominated:

The winners in the broadcast categories will be announced in a few weeks and be presented in Nashville on November 5th.

This has been a great day so far

THIS has been a great day so far. I was leaning back in the chair at the dentist office with someone's fingers in my mouth when my phone starting buzzing and vibrating with the news that I'd been nominated for a CMA Award. This is the third time - maybe what they say about "third time's the charm" is true. Of course I want to thank my family, Dena and Elizabeth for the support, as well as Kricket for her awesome contributions every afternoon on the show. Oh, and no cavities (you were probably wondering), but somehow I broke a tooth and didn't notice it, so I have to go back and get that fixed.
On top of that I learned that we had a $1,950 winner in the 7:10 Payoff Question this morning, so Kricket and I will be kicking in our own money to round the jackpot up to an even $2,000. Worth every penny.
I hope YOU have a day that's at least as great as the one I'm having today.

Friday, August 29, 2014

iPhone Wallpaper: Aircraft Boneyard

I've got a HUGE library of great-looking photos that I've been turning into iPhone wallpaper images. Since I'm doing it for me, I figured I'd post them for YOU in case you wanted to use them, too. 

The top one is for iPhone 4S and the bottom is for iPhone 5 and up. You should be able to save it to your phone's camera roll, and from there, set it as wallpaper.

This edition features aircraft from the boneyard at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson.